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On just war

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  1. Introduction
  2. Bhagavad Gita
  3. Tolstoy's brand of anarchism
  4. Essays of Kutz and Jeff McMahan
  5. The Paris globalist
  6. Gauguin analogy
  7. Conclusion

When, in the sacred Hindu text the Bhagavad Gita, Prince Arjuna asks Lord Krishna about the righteousness of his participation in a war that would entail him killing his cousins, Lord Krishna explains to him that it is his duty as a warrior to take up this role, and that he should do it as best as he can. Insofar as the modern-day soldier can prescribe to himself his role as a warrior to the exclusion of all his other personas, I would agree wholeheartedly with Lord Krishna's counsel. However, as history would have it, it seems to be the democratic model of society of the Western liberal type that has won out, rather than the rigidly-stratified caste system of Hindu tradition. The implications of this cannot be understated, because it would now appear?with all due respect to Lord Krishna?too pat to say that one is fighting a war simply out of duty; even a soldier is not just a soldier, but also a citizen, an individual, as well as an ethical being whose morality is, in all probability, of the Axial Age1 strain.

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